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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I have a 1957 Chevy Bel Air 4dr sedan 283V8, and I recently purchased a rewire kit from American Autowire (kit # 500434). The kit was amazing, it contained nearly everything I needed to rewire the car. I just finished the install a few days ago, and the car cranked up on the first try!

The only issue i'm having is that the generator doesn't seem to be charging anymore. I know before I rewired the car, the generator was outputting fine. Now, when I put a volt meter to the car while its running, it reads around 11.80 volts and it drops by a hundredth of a volt every few minutes or so. If i rev the engine up, it might go up a hundredth of a vold or so, but then drops back down when the car returns to idle. I'm very confident that everything is hooked up properly, but its possible I may have missed something.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the wiring diagrams show the setup for an alternator, but the kit does say that it would work for a generator as well. it showed a resisitance wire being connected from the accessory terminal of the ignition switch to one of the wires connecting to the generator light. That wire is properly connected.
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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I don't think you need the resistance wire with a generator. The resistance wire is to help excite an alternator. Were the instructions for wiring a generator in the kit? I understood that kit was just for alternators??? Have you verified that the fuseable link on the red wire at the starter is not blown? Do you have voltage at the "Bat" terminal of the voltage regulator when the engine is not running?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The kit "suggests" the use of an alternator, only because "they cannot handle higher current requirements for items such as electric fans, a/c systems, stereos, etc". The wiring diagram only shows the connection for an alternator, but the connections are identical to the stock wiring diagram for the '57 with the generator, with the exception of the resistance wire.

I am now wondering if the resistance wire is actually causing a problem somehow. Does anyone think I should try and run it without the resistance wire???? And yes, the fusible link of the wire to the starter is good, it was one of the wires that were included in the kit that was replaced.

I looked at one of these forums and someone posted a way to test the generator output...it said to disconnect the field terminal and the dynamo terminal, and connect a volt meter to the dynamo terminal while running a jumper wire from the field terminal to ground. when you rev the engine it should output around 30 amps. When I did this test, I got 3 volts! I removed the generator and i am going to get it bench tested at an electrical shop tomorrow. I also received a new voltage regulator today from rockauto.com and I will be installing that soon. Hopefully something will help!

Thanks again for all the input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I apologize, I said previously that the test should show a result of 30 amps. I actually meant 30 volts. Sorry for the confusion.
 

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Hi The generator test you descibed is not quite right. You are correct in grounding the field wire but you do not connect Armature and Field together, you just connect the pos lead of your volt meter to the armature terminal and the neg lead of the voltmeter to ground. Bring the RPM up to say 1500 and as long as the voltage exceeds 20-25volts the gen is okay. I think Don may be onto it saying that the wiring kit is for an alternator. The fact that it was working before the wiring change, suggests to me that the problem lies with the wiring. Basically you need a wire from the F terminal (small) on the gen to the F terminal on the Reg, a wire from the A terminal (large) on the Gen to the A terminal on the Reg and a Battery Pos lead to the B terminal on the Reg. Also check that the reg and generator are grounded. The resistor in the warning light circuit is only there to stop the alternator feeding back through the warning light and keeping a feed on the ignition coil that would stop the engine turning off with the key. For your instalation you can leave or take it out, the only affect maybe that the warning lite is a bit dim.
Cheers
 
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